Four Best Practices for Safeguarding Open Source Software

Four Best Practices for Safeguarding Open Source Software-01

Open source can be found almost everywhere; practically every program in every industry uses open source to some extent. Organizations are confronting growing degrees of risk as more cloud-native applications are introduced, as well as increased open source usage in general and the construction of increasingly complex applications.

According to a 2021 open source security and risk analysis report by Synopsys, open-source code makes up around 99% of business codebases. Because of its flexibility and the rapid speed of innovation within open source communities, most developers prefer to utilize open-source software. However, according to the same report, 75% of audited codebases contain open source components that have at least one known vulnerability.

Here are some best practices for securing open-source software that enterprises can use.

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Adopt a secure software development approach

Security and engineering teams in many firms share responsibility for security. The question of who “owns” open source security might become complicated as a result. A secure software development lifecycle (SSDLC) is adopted by more sophisticated teams, in which security is integrated into every stage of the development process. Engineers must be trained on secure coding best practices as part of this approach. Red teams put the systems engineers create to the test to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Regardless of who discovers vulnerability, whether it’s a software engineer, an internal pentester, a white hat hacker, or someone else, it’s a moral duty to fix the glitch as soon as possible and share the fixes with the rest of the open-source community. Everyone is better protected against potential security concerns if there are more eyes on open-source software.

Keep an eye out for vulnerabilities and updates

Unlike proprietary software, open-source projects do not send out updates. Instead, it is the responsibility of enterprises to ensure that they are aware of any vulnerabilities or security updates. Businesses must also select how and when to apply updates. If they opt not to update due to compatibility difficulties, for example, they will be responsible for patching future vulnerabilities.

Following vulnerability and threat information feeds is the best method to ensure that firms are up to date. When issues are detected, these feeds can warn businesses and provide remediation information.

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Embrace automation

It is vital, but time demanding, to stay current on vulnerabilities documented in internet sources on project home pages. Companies should install some frontline tools to assist catch the obvious things (there are some wonderful commercial and open-source Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) solutions available), and use monitoring tools to keep track of what’s going on in real-time. Static code analysis needs to be included in the CI/CD process at a minimum, as it allows automatic, early identification of security problems in addition to peer reviews.

Bring together developers and security experts

Businesses should employ the help of their security teams to teach developers to ensure that they have a complete understanding of security and current trends. A secure coding session co-hosted with the security team is a terrific approach to get things started. Furthermore, organizations must invite them to design reviews and include them in meetings involving high-risk modifications.

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